The Gravel Explorer PLUS Toiletry bag is a well-made and sturdy toiletry kit, offering plenty of space for all your grooming needs. In addition, it has the perfect size and weight to be carried as an additional carry-on item when traveling or cycling by bike.
Join Pack Hacker Pro and save up to 10% off Gravel with our Deals Vault. People have been trying to find the best method to travel with toiletries since the beginning of time. Okay, that’s an apparent exaggeration, but figuring out how and where to pack everything you’ll need to be smelling fresh and look lovely while traveling is difficult.
Flat Lay Gravel Explorer Plus Toiletry Bag. This is why Gravel’s Gravel Explorer PLUS Toiletry Bag earned over 8,000 supporters on Kickstarter. (If you have fewer items to bring, you can get a Slim version of the Explorer Toiletry Bag from Gravel.)
The Gravel Explorer PLUS Toiletry Bag may not be perfect if you want to put all of your toiletries into one large bag. However, if you’re searching for a toiletry kit in a sleek, water-resistant container with a lot of organization, this bag might be a good choice.
Aesthetics & Materials
The Gravel Explorer PLUS Toiletry Bag has a clean, overall design. Everything is black, from the front of the bag’s black-on-black emblem to the black rubberized zipper pulls.
Logo for the Gravel Explorer Plus Toiletry Bag. It’s only available in one colorway—black—at this review. If you’re acquainted with us here at Pack Hacker, you already know how much we love black gear (see our Digital Nomad Packing List). This (lack of) option, on the other hand, will disappoint you if you want your toiletry kit to be as vibrantly vivid as your personality.
The shell is composed of Tarpaulin PVC, which is very sturdy yet prone to cosmetic flaws (i.e., slight scuffs). Although the scuffs do not affect the bag’s usefulness, if you’re the kind who is disappointed by evident wear, this may not be the bag for you.
Material: Gravel Explorer Plus Toiletry Bag. Tarpaulin is swishy as well. If the phrase swishy makes you grimace, you should look for a different toiletry kit. On the plus side, the tarp is light, simple to clean, and water-resistant—a wonderful touch for a toiletry box.
Thermoplastic Elastomer (TPE) is used for the internal lining, and all of the mesh used within the bag is constructed of Poly and PVC. Finally, TPU (Thermoplastic Polyurethane) is used in a few spots for increased water resistance.
Zipper Gravel Explorer Plus Toiletry Bag. We haven’t been able to identify the zipper brand, which has us concerned, and rightly so. We’ve already had a problem with the rear compartment zipper, which we’ll discuss later in this review.
Usage & Features
It’s time to have a peek inside this thing, so let’s open it up. The main compartment features a clamshell opening, which opens completely (laying flat like a book). You may put it out on a bathroom counter, the top of a toilet tank, or other flat surfaces to make it more accessible.
There’s a lot of organizing going on, which may be a good thing or a bad one depending on your personality. Gravel’s marketing language promotes “catch-all” toiletry bags, where you toss everything into a big bucket, zip it up, and leave. But if you enjoy that kind of Dopp kit, more power to you (you won’t like the contents of this bag, either, you’ve been warned).
We’ve loved the structure and being able to categorize all of our material throughout testing. Most of the pockets have more depth than they seem to have. Most of them are also constructed of mesh, making it simple to see what’s going on (you won’t have to hunt through your drawer for your nail clippers when you need to clip off that hangnail). The mesh has a rubbery feel (excellent water resistance) and is stiff but pleasant.
Toothbrush Gravel Explorer Plus Toiletry Bag. The only pocket in the compartment that doesn’t mesh is on the left side. This compartment, according to Gravel, is for your toothbrush and toothpaste (it will even accommodate an electronic toothbrush). The case is built of waterproof TPU because “no one loves their toothbrush liquids going all over the rest of their gear,” according to Gravel. Doesn’t “toothbrush fluids” conjure up a lovely image? In any case, this pocket might be used for other long and narrow objects like cosmetics, a comb, etc. You make your own decisions.
Razor Pocket Gravel Explorer Plus Toiletry Bag. A wide mesh pocket with a curved zipper opening for convenient access sits underneath that pocket. The purse was created with electric razors, standard razors, and shaving cream. There’s quite a bit of room here for bigger stuff.
Small Pocket Gravel Explorer Plus Toiletry Bag. You’ll discover a little flat pocket tucked within this pocket. This one isn’t profound. It’s a fantastic place to store valuables or little stuff you don’t want to lose since it’s secured with two zippers—jewelry, medication, etc.
Deodorant Gravel Explorer Plus Toiletry Bag. A long, slender mesh pocket may be seen on the upper right side of the compartment. Long, slender products, such as deodorant and beauty brushes, will fit best here.
Miscellaneous Pocket Gravel Explorer Plus Toiletry Bag. There are two smaller mesh pockets underneath that (the one on the right is approximately double the length of the one on the left). They’re for storing your contact lens case, towelettes, nail clippers, chapstick, q-tips, and other toiletry items. They come in two sizes to accommodate a range of smaller items.
One thing to keep in mind is that these compartments function best when the bag is hung (yes, it can be hung). We’ll return to this topic later). All of your belongings are within easy reach, so you can wash your face, brush your teeth, and cut your toenails quickly when the time comes.
Back Pocket of the Gravel Explorer Plus Toiletry Bag. On the bag’s reverse, you’ll discover another compartment that opens in a horseshoe pattern. Gravel advertises this one as being very water-resistant. A translucent, detachable, water-resistant bag is supplied on the inside.
Clear Pouch Gravel Explorer Plus Toiletry Bag. The idea is to place your most likely-to-spill toiletries—think shampoo—into the water-resistant bag within the water-resistant compartment. That way, if your shampoo spills midway over the Atlantic, it won’t ruin the rest of your belongings. Anyone who has ever had a shampoo problem in their travel luggage understands the value of this function. (This paragraph may seem to be unjust to shampoo, but come on, it deserves it.)
When going through security, you may also remove the transparent bag (just ensure all of the toiletries inside are of the approved size). Of course, if you need additional room, you may carry the bag separately and utilize the rear pocket for it.
Felt Pocket Gravel Explorer Plus Toiletry Bag. The last compartment has a soft fleece lining to protect your delicate goods from scratch. It isn’t the softest fleece we’ve ever touched, but it will suffice. It’s also a smart place to store anything you’ll need access to fast, such as a tiny first-aid kit. (Believe us when we say you don’t want to go rummaging for your first-aid kit.)
Overall, there’s enough room and organization to accommodate everything we’ll need for a week’s vacation. The sheer number of pockets, though, might be intimidating. It might also seem as though you need to utilize and fill each and every pocket. Furthermore, as we’ve covered throughout this section, the pockets were meant for certain tasks, which may seem restrictive or make you feel like you’re misusing the bag if you don’t utilize the pockets for their original purpose. However, you may store your belongings anywhere you choose (we put a comb in the toothbrush compartment, for example).
Also keep in mind that larger things, such as a tin of pomade, may not fit. However, you may avoid this by putting your pomade or whatever you’re using into a smaller container, such as a humangear GoTubb.
Hanging Gravel Explorer Plus Toiletry Bag. This toiletry bag, as previously said, hangs up (!). This device comes with a strap and an aluminum G-hook so you can hang it from pretty much anything. We found it quite useful to be able to hang your toiletries bag inside hostel restrooms, Airbnbs, and campground showers, among other places. Particularly since, as previously said, the main compartment’s arrangement provides for simple access even when the pack is hung up. Just keep in mind that the pockets will be facing the wrong direction.
Toiletry Bag Strap for Gravel Explorer Plus. The strap tucks into a storage pocket, which is a thoughtful addition. It maintains the pack’s sleek appearance and doesn’t get in the way when not in use.
The detachable pouch is also a tangle. You may attach it to your bag when you need all of your amenities in one place or hang it separately—for example, in the shower to keep the rest of your goods dry.
Testing & Durability
We put the Gravel Explorer PLUS Toiletry Bag to the test for two weeks, including a week in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. Overall, we’ve had a good time with it. The organization is excellent, and the mesh pockets provide excellent visibility. But, if you like simplicity in terms of organizing, this bag is not for you.
Broken Zipper on Gravel Explorer Plus Toiletry Bag. Unfortunately, we have a problem with durability to report. The rear compartment’s zipper track has torn away at one of the corners. It can be fixed by zipping and unzipping it many times. However, it continues to break and has only grown worse with each break. After just a few weeks of testing, it’s a little underwhelming.
We note that when a “product fails to stand up for what it was meant for due to a manufacturing fault,” Gravel offers a lifetime guarantee. However, since we haven’t tried it yet, your results may differ.
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